Thursday, December 5, 2013
If you have been seeing the news the past day you know weather has been making headlines all across the deep south and into the Ohio valley. Tornadoes and blizzard conditions occurred simultaneously from Texas to Alabama and north into Michigan. This same storm will have a big impact on Maine's weather the next 24 hours bringing snow, sleet and rain to the region.
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In Maine in December a snowstorms are expected and this storm isn't going to shut down the state. One of the challenges with this storm is going to be to forecast where the rain-snow line sets up. If you look at the map above you will notice that the gradient of snow amounts increases very rapidly from the water to inland areas. This is going to be one of those storms where east of Route 1 could see very little snow, and west of that line will see dramatic increases.
Even across extreme coastal areas the amounts are going to vary a lot. I can envision Brunswick getting 4 inches of snow, while Orr's Island receives much less. It might be that North Deering in Portland gets 5-6 inches and Two Lights State Park sees half of that amount. These amounts may not be exact, but it gives you an idea of just how close the rain-snow line is going to be in this storm.
The storm will start well after dark so if you have plans this evening, there shouldn't be an issue. After 8 p.m. I expect snow to overspread the region from the south and reach the capital district around midnight. As warmer air moves inland the snow will quickly change to rain right at the coast especially from Brunswick eastward.
On Thursday the rain-snow line will collapse back towards the coast and where it is raining, it will change back to snow. There could be several inches of snow on the back end of the storm, even at the coast.
The highest amounts of snow will occur where there is little or no mix with sleet or rain. Across the mountains amounts will run at or over a foot of snow. As you move towards the coast totals drop, but as I mentioned in York and Cumberland counties the heavy snow line will be closer to the coast than it will be when you move east of Brunswick.
Wind Strong winds will also be an issue late Wednesday night and Thursday. These winds will be especially strong at the coast and might cause a few power outages or minor damage.
Gardening This week's video talks about soil compaction. If you have an area of your lawn that won't grow grass very well or a tree that isn't performing, the issue might be soil compaction. Take a look at this video and see how soil compaction can be fixed.Tweet
David Epstein has been a meteorologist for more than 25 years. He spent 16 years in Boston and currently freelances at WGME13 in Portland.
In 2006, David founded GrowingWisdom.com, a business producing educational and marketing videos for the green industry. He currently is a professor at Framingham State College, teaches Jan Plan at Colby College and owns Bloomscapes Inc., a landscape design business.
David authored "Gardens Of New England" and his work has been published in Grolier's Science Annual for 10 years. He lives in South Natick, Mass., and has a summer home in Harpswell.